Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group are no longer. Long live Stellantis.
What's Stellantis? Despite sounding like a name plastered across a television ad with fast-moving special effects flashing across the background, it's a brand-new automaker born out of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group's combined forces. So, we're talking about an American-French-Italian automaker. Globalization is an odd thing.
On Saturday, Jan. 16, FCA and PSA officially finalized the anticipated $52 billion merger to create Stellantis, the fourth largest automaker in the world. So what does the new company mean for American car buyers? Who's in charge? Let's talk about all of that below.
FCA CEO Mike Manley isn't out of job after the merger. Instead, Manley now heads Stellantis' North American operations. That's one familiar face sticking around. In Europe, former PSA CEO Carlos Tavares becomes Stellantis' CEO, overseeing the massive new automaker's international presence. Tavares and Manley have a big job ahead of them. For starters, Manley will provide Tavares valuable insight on the highly profitable Jeep and Ram brands in North America as Stellantis inevitably pushes those makes to greater heights and into additional countries. For Tavares, his task will be to create a lean automaking operation currently comprising 14 different auto brands.
The newly formed carmaker promised its North American and European production workforces the merger wouldn't amount to plant closures. The same hasn't been said of the brands that now live within Stellantis, and there are a ton. From FCA, Chrysler , Dodge , Jeep, Ram, Fiat , Alfa Romeo , Maserati , Abarth and Lancia join the team. On PSA's side, it brings Citroen , Peugeot , DS, Opel and Vauxhall. If the latter two sound familiar, it's because General Motors actually sold Opel and Vauxhall to PSA last decade.
An immense amount of chatter surrounds where each brand will go under a totally different set of leaders. It's also not too difficult to see the overlap. Citroen, Fiat and Chrysler all play in a similar space -- Peugeot, too, to some degree. Opel and Vauxhall also sit in a somewhat mainstream lane, though not all brands will be sold in the same countries. Vauxhall is sold exclusively in the UK, for example. And even before Stellantis became a reality, there had been some speculation about Alfa Romeo and Maserati's positioning under FCA.
Then there's Dodge and Chrysler, two American brands with long histories that have largely gone on untouched for years. Chrysler sells two minivans and a single sedan, while Dodge handles performance and muscle cars. Time will tell if each brand shines, or one faces the growing automotive brand graveyard in the months and years to come.
Competition. Both automakers agreed they are stronger together as the automotive industry shifts at a rapid pace toward electrification, and to a lesser degree, automation. Stellantis will unlock $6 billion in operational savings by the new company's estimate, and consumers can expect a lot of parts and platform to be shared between traditionally American and European brands. Ditto for electrification, as the automaker promised "one electrified model for every newly launched global model."
Right now, the answer is yes. PSA had already put plans into motion to return to North America and the US specifically prior to any talk of a merger with FCA. The brand it planned to stake its comeback on is Peugeot. What the merger means for Peugeot's return is unclear, however. Conceivably, it could make Peugeot an even easier brand to toss into the dealership footprint FCA already holds in the country. It could also, however, create new headaches concerning brand overlap.